Don't Just Dream It, Plan It!

Planner and Calendar Trends_v2

Well… it’s November already, and 2022 is right around the corner. Sure, we could lament the ending of another year and go on about how quickly this one seemed to fly by. Instead, let’s chat about how to make 2022 your best year yet! One way to get out of the end-of-the-year slump is to start plotting out the perfect 2022, and what better way to do that than with a fancy new planner?

You might remember the Marie Kondo cleaning craze a few years back brought on by her hit Netflix show, Tidying Up with Marie Kondo. Your friends probably went through their closets, drawers, and storage boxes asking themselves if their possessions brought them joy and organizing their homes, all while digesting Marie’s aspirational tidying content along the way. A good planner can do that for your everyday life!

Trailer for Netflix’s Tidying Up with Marie Kondo.

In many ways, using a planner is aspirational. We lay out our tasks on paper and imagine the best version of ourselves, completing all of them with ease and on time. Though real-life might not always pan out that way, things make more sense when you can look at them at-a-glance. That might be why fancy planners are so popular among the millennial crowds right now, with boutique printers selling out their restocks in minutes and avid planners clamoring to get their hands on the latest releases.

With supply chain issues affecting retailers and industries across the board, it would be wise not to wait until January to get your new planner or calendar for 2022. If you’re like me and shopping for the perfect planner to help you get your life together in the new year, here are a few of the trending options out there right now:

Disc Jockeys? No, Discbound Planners!

Discbound planners are perfect for people who want customization while also utilizing pre-made templates and calendars. These handy planners probably take up a whole aisle at your local Michael’s or Joann Fabrics, and they come in all sizes, from pocket to full-sized book. They’re typically organized with monthly tabs, but the beauty of these planners is that they can be endlessly adjusted and rearranged with custom pages, inserts, and more.

A simple search for “disc planner” on Joann Fabrics’ website returns dozens of results.

Discbound journals basically take the best of both worlds from 3-ring binders and spiral notebooks – you can easily remove, add, and rearrange pages without damaging the paper because the pages simply slip onto the rings. You can even buy one journal and reuse it year over year by just replacing the sheets inside. Bloggers love these handy planners, and many offer custom templates, so your day planner can perfectly fit your personal aesthetic.

Aim for Success with Bullet Journals

A search for “bullet journal” on Pinterest returns a near-infinite amount of content.

Bullet journals are the ultimate in customizable planners. They’re essentially a blank slate that you can add whatever you want to, however you want to. Bullet journals are filled with pages that, instead of being blank or lined, are printed with a dot grid. This allows you to have a framework to draw in your own calendars to perfectly fit how you want to organize your time.

A 2021 bullet journal vlog from popular planner YouTuber, AmandaRachLee.

The online bullet journal community is huge. Log onto Pinterest and search for “bullet journal,” and you’ll see what I mean. With so many customization options, it’s no wonder that these planners are so popular. Some people like to keep it minimal and simple, with a calendar and spaces for notes. Others go all out, adding stickers, pasting items like a scrapbook, and doing complicated layouts for each week. No matter what strikes your fancy, a bullet journal can be adapted to suit your preferred organizational style.

Make it Happen with Digital Planner Apps

Not everyone thrives with a physical paper planner, and that’s okay! Beyond your phone’s built-in calendar app, there are plenty of incredible day planner apps available on the market. Two of my favorites are Good Notes and Notability. Both apps are customizable and offer templates, and both work great on a tablet.

A screenshot of my actual September calendar in the Notability app, straight from my iPad.

For people who like to keep everything centrally located on their phones, these apps are highly recommended by bloggers, tech lovers, and planner obsessives alike:


Images courtesy of Todoist.

Todoist is a to-do list app that lets you manage your tasks, and you can even share your tasks with friends, family, or team members! It offers multiple features, including subtasks, recurring tasks, and notifications.

Things 3

Things 3 offers a clean, intuitive user experience that doesn’t take a bunch of tutorials or how-to pointers to figure out. You can set reminders, add widgets to fit your lifestyle, and even forward emails to Things 3 to create to-dos in your list!

Images courtesy of Habitica.

Want to make planning your tasks out more like a game? Then Habitica is the app for you. Essentially, Habitica turns your planning routine into a game, complete with in-game rewards to finishing tasks and consequences for your little in-game character when you don’t finish an item. This app has a vibrant social community, making it an enjoyable way to schedule your days.

Classic Planners, Modern Designs

A small handful of the on-trend planners you can find in SAGE Online
(Suppliers L-R: JournalBooks (SAGE #50031), Drum-Line, Inc. (SAGE #50670), JournalBooks, US Gift Products LLC (SAGE #52493), Koozie Group (SAGE #57550)

The classics are classic for a reason! For the average planner user, a basic planner that features monthly and daily calendars will be more than enough. But who said basic has to be boring? Take your classic planners to the next level by choosing one with an exciting design or interesting twist. Some planners include a space to write what you’re grateful for each week alongside your typical weekly planner, or others have pages for meal planning or workout tracking. When you’re shopping in-store for a new planner, be sure to flip through the pages to make sure whatever is printed on them will work for you and your planner style. And don’t be afraid to pick a funky design! You’re more likely to reach for your planner if it’s cool or enjoyable to look at.

Planners don’t have to be a one-size-fits-all deal. With so many endlessly customizable options on the market, there’s truly a planner out there for everyone. To learn more about how to make the upcoming new year your best yet, check out our #SAGEBlogs on productivity tips.

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(Marketing Coordinator)

Caitlin is a Marketing Coordinator at SAGE. When she's not writing, she enjoys baking and spending time with her beagle puppy, Piper.

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